The LRC Story – by Joanie and Blowfish
The Late Risers’ Club is a name that doesn’t make sense to many of you who think 10AM is pretty damn early to be awake. But it’s a name that’s stuck since 1977 when the show actually went til 1PM. WMBR (WTBS at the time) had already programmed what is thought to be the first dedicated punk rock show hosted by the infamous Oedipus. Tom Lane decided this was something that should be heard more often and thus was born the LRC, a Monday-Friday block of punk rock. Altho back then, filling 3 or 4 hours of radio with punk was impossible so you also heard UFO, AC/DC and Cheap Trick in between the ever growing punk discs (and you still hear those bands on LRC today). One reggae song per hour was required. Weekly trips to the import record store were mandatory. WMBR was non-profit to everyone except the DJs, to them it was profit-draining. But doing the show often was a stepping stone for many DJs who went on to bigger and better (read: paying) things.
The LRC and other shows at MBR always welcomed touring bands, from the Dead Boys, Adam & the Ants and Public Image to Sonic Youth to Zeke. Local musicians of course were down all the time, and requesting their own tapes. The club aspect of the show was more prominent in the old days when actual MEMBERSHIP CARDS were mailed out to listeners. The LRC actually provided news, sports and a twice weekly gossip portion of the show. There was even a contest for listeners to send in their own version of SEX BOMB. Fundraising time used to mean the LRC PAJAMA PARTY where listeners were encouraged to come down in their pj’s and hang out (and give money of course). One tradition that has continued, for better or worse, is the world famous Late Risers’ Club CONCERT REPORT.
The LRC celebrated its 10 year anniversary by putting on a few shows at the Rat (RIP) culminating with Redd Kross flying in for a one off. In 1991, we presented a week’s worth of shows at TT the Bear’s called Lollipops and Booze featuring The Didjits (misspelled on the t-shirts), Pegboy and the then next to unknown Smashing Pumpkins. In 1992, we ran down 15 YEARS IN 15 DAYS, going through our library and cataloguing all the punk rock that had been checked in and playing one year each day. 1997 was the 20th anniversary party at the Greek American Club (another Boston space sadly no longer allowing shows) where people were once again encouraged to wear pajamas. Showcase Showdown as the FLUFFY SHARKS played the late 70’s English punk rock hits; Bastard Squad as the MULLETS played the best early 80’s American hardcore; a bunch of local Boston rockers did a DEVO tribute; and another bunch of local Boston rockers did all the old BOSTON punk classics. There were games and pillow fights and the police came, a grand old time overall. We didn’t get it together for a 25th but the 30th is documented above, a crazy hot night of reunion rock at the Baseball Tavern with a follow-up party a year later at the Alchemist showing videos and dj’ing. The 35th is just around the corner.
So it’s the 2010’s and the Late Risers’ Club is still more or less the same, cramming as much as we can into two measly hours a day. We receive more records than we can shake a stick at although the need to download sadly has started to take over. Our loyal listeners have stuck with us for years, through DJs who’ve lasted a few months to DJs who will have to be bodily removed from the station, supporting us with calls and of course through fundraising. We play what we like and hope you like it too. Spread the word, let us know what we should and should not be doing, and keep us on our toes.